Reckless bet at Haydock
Man On The Spot previews a bumper terrestrial TV programme on Saturday and he fancies Reckless Abandon.
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Rodrigo De Torres and Redact are facing a stiff task at the weights in this while Spiritual Star is racing for the first time since finishing tailed off in last year's Greenham at Newbury, though did run in a Group 1 as a two-year-old. PINTURA should find this easier than the Listed race he contested at Haydock earlier this month and this is his trip nowadays. He was fourth in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October and is just preferred to Our Jonathan, confined to 6f since finishing third at Chester last July and needing to recapture his best to land this. Morache Music was well behind Our Jonathan in September's Ayr Gold Cup and hasn't been seen since.
Luca Cumani has a strong hand in the opener. Mobaco has joined the Newmarket handler and doesn't look out of place in this as he's a multiple winner in France including a Group 3. But Kieren Fallon sticks with stablemate ASFARE and the latter is taken to make the most of today's favourable terms. He finished runner-up in the Arlington Million behind subsequent Breeders' Cup Turf winner, Little Mike, in August and should have too much for the likes of Cameron Highland. The latter won a Listed contest at Windsor last season and is preferred to Stipulate, who finished ahead of Boom And Bust when second at Newmarket last month. Rewarded and reckoning have plenty to find in this company.
Address Unknown won the Chester Cup earlier this month when Ile De Re, winner of the same race 12 months earlier, finished well beaten. The latter is 8lb better off here but that may not be enough to turn the tables. Enigmatic chaser Mad Moose belatedly got off the mark on the Flat in a Doncaster maiden but appeared to show much improved form when runner-up to Mount Athos in the Ormonde Stakes. It may not pay to take that run too literally however. Bite Of The Cherry was a close-up fourth in a Listed race at Goodwood on her return to action but SONGCRAFT looks the class act here and is fancied to make a winning reappearance. Third in last year's St Simon Stakes at Newbury, he goes well fresh and won over this trip at Salisbury in the autumn.
FEEL LIKE DANCING finished last of four in the Chester Vase earlier this month but this is less competitive. John Gosden's colt should be more at home in this company and is preferred to the hat-trick-seeking Red Runaway, who scored at Chester last time but is closely matched with Van Percy on that running. Rundell made a bold bid on his handicap debut at York last week and makes more appeal than recent maiden winner Flashheart. But both should be thereabouts ahead of the more exposed pair Blue Wave and Naru.
This is a very fast 5f but Ancient Cross was able to quicken off a strong pace to win here nine days ago, finishing just ahead of JUDGE 'N JURY, Fitz Flyer and Magical Macey with Ponty Acclaim among the also-rans. We fancy Ron Harris' course specialist to come out on top at the weights today, however, as he was making his reappearance on that occasion and Thomas Brown again takes off a handy 5lb. Duke Of Firenze is an obvious danger having got back to winning ways at Goodwood, though Lady Gibraltar wasn't far behind and is 6lb better off now. Alan Jarvis' filly has each-way claims, as does the speedy Noble Storm, but York Glory could find the drop to 5f against him and the ground may still be too lively for Doncaster fifth Jamaican Bolt, despite recent rain. Kingsgate Choice and improving Newmarket winner Sir Maximillian look the pick of the remainder.
Richard Fahey won last year's renewal and Gabrial's Kaka is one of a host of lightly-raced contenders. Code Of Honor, Georgian Bay and recent course and distance winner Hay Dude can also be included on that list but HERE COMES WHEN gets the vote. Andrew Balding's charge beat the previously undefeated Breton Rock at Chester last time and is fancied to reverse earlier running with Baltic Knight. The latter finished third behind Dundonnell in Listed company last week and stablemate Alhebayeb also ran well in a decent handicap at Newmarket on his reappearance. Newstead Abbey is upped 10lb after landing a hat-trick on his latest start and Country Western was beaten off today's mark at Headquarters last time having recorded a double before that.
No Irish trainer apart from Aidan O'Brien, who has eight victories to his credit, has won this in the past 25 years and he has four representatives this time. Joseph has chosen MAGICIAN, who surprisingly steps down in trip after his impressive victory in Chester's Dee Stakes. That race was run at a slow pace and the son of Galileo showed a fine turn of foot in the straight so today's trip should hold no fears. He looks the one to be on with George Vancouver probably the pick of the remaining Ballydoyle trio and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner can put a moderate effort in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket behind him. Jim Bolger has never won this and Trading Leather, beaten by shock winner Libertarian in the Dante at York, doesn't look quite up to putting matters right. Richard Hannon scored with Canford Cliffs in 2010 and the 2000 Guineas third Van Der Neer represents him here along with Group 3 winner Havana Gold. The former is bred for pace and did well to stay on at Newmarket so has to be on the short-list. Amazingly, Johnny Murtagh has his first ever runners as a trainer in this classic and Fort Knox is no forlorn hope to give him a dream start having looked a really smart performer when landing a Listed race at Leopardstown. He's a full-brother to the classy Dubawi Gold and looks certain to make his presence felt.
Plenty with a shout in an open contest. Sorella Bella was a Listed winner in France but hasn't been at her best for Mick Channon so far and stablemate Pay Freeze makes more appeal on his recent third at Ascot. Flyman made a decent comeback at Doncaster and should be thereabouts but BRETON ROCK may just edge this. David Simcock's colt caught the eye making up lots of ground to finish runner-up at Chester last time and can go one better with a quicker break from the stalls. Flashlight finished behind the selection last time while both Gworn and You da One arrive in fine form but face stiffer competition today.
Group 1 winning sprinters Airwave and Fleeting Spirit both won this as three-year-olds. The unbeaten RECKLESS ABANDON already has that distinction as he landed the Prix Morny at Deauville before ending last season with victory in the Middle Park. With the prospect of more to come this year, Clive Cox's colt looks the one to beat. Sole Power won this in 2011 and arrives in fine form having beaten a host of these in the Palace House at Newmarket last time. Kingsgate Native and Tangerine Trees finished closest to him on that occasion and the Irish raider also beat Masamah at Doncaster last year. The latter found Ballista too good at Chester recently while Morawij is another three-year-old who should be winning a Group class sprint this season.